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Keith Ellison, the DFL candidate for Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District, has had his connections to CAIR and to the Nation of Islam criticized on Twin Cities blogs such as mine and especially Power Line, and CAIR's executives have had enough. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which has done nothing to cover Ellison's connections to both groups, runs an op-ed piece by CAIR executive director Nihad Awad and CAIR board chair Parvez Ahmed that basically calls us racists:
There has been much sound and fury in certain circles about the American Muslim community's support for Keith Ellison and his campaign to represent Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District.
A handful of right-wing bloggers, agenda-driven commentators and political operatives have used scurrilous smear tactics in an attempt to derail his campaign and to marginalize American Muslim voters. These smears and distortions send an un-American message of intolerance and bigotry.
We are proud of our personal donations to Ellison's campaign. He has proven himself to be an effective legislator and his commitment to social justice is worthy of admiration. We believe his election will send a powerful message to the world about America's commitment to religious inclusion and tolerance. ...
At the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), we are proud of our record of promoting interfaith understanding. We are also proud of our commitment to peace and our repeated condemnations of terrorism in all its forms, whether carried out by individuals, groups or states.
Their idea of interfaith understanding appears somewhat weak. As Scott Johnson notes in his tireless effort to inform the voters of MN-05, CAIR has many links to groups that hardly promote interfaith understanding. Nihad Awad has spoken publicly of his support for Hamas, the same terrorist group that has staged terrorist attacks on Israel. Likewise, Awad appeared on stage with the banner of Hezbollah in April 2002, a picture of which Scott posts at Power Line today. Ahmed, for his part, supported that famous interfaith activist Sami al-Arian, the Florida professor who admitted to providing assistance to terrorist groups and got deported.
Ahmed and Awad want to stress their pride in CAIR's participation in American democracy. However, they seemed pretty secretive about it last weekend, when Ellison flew to Florida in the home stretch of his Twin Cities election bid to address a major CAIR event in Pembroke Pines. The meeting took place in a public venue, but CAIR blocked outsiders from hearing what the speakers had to say, including Ellison, even while they videotaped a protest outside. Why the secrecy? If they want to stop the supposed "Muslim bashing" they decry in this article, why did they keep their doors shut when they gathered together in Florida? If they want us to believe that they have nothing in mind but interfaith understanding and full support of the American way, one would have thought this meeting would have provided the perfect opportunity to prove it.
The two CAIR execs attempt to use 9/11 as a standard for Americans to trust their motivations. They quote from their press releases, pointing out their "Not In The Name of Islam" petitions. However, they fail to mention that their collections of donations for 9/11 victims got redirected to the Holy Land Foundation, a terrorist front group that existed primarily to fund Hamas. According to Wikipedia, the Holy Land Foundation served another purpose: it created CAIR as well.
CAIR serves as an apologist and fundraiser for terrorists; in fact, it was founded for that purpose. Their track record puts it in the same category as the German-American Bund in the late 1930s. Their activity on behalf of a Congressional candidate, especially one who sneaks off to speak at a secret session of their organization, has rightly caused people to scrutinize both the candidate and the organization more closely, and screeching "racism" is just another ploy for these radicals to hide themselves, this time behind a shield of political correctness.Sphere It View blog reactions
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